Aussie, Loan Market and Mortgage Choice have each donated $100,000 to the industry’s ongoing bushfire appeal and several lenders have also supported the fund, which has been renamed the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief fund.
Following on from the move by several leading brokerages from across Australia to jointly launch a mortgage broker-backed fundraising campaign to help those in need during the ongoing bushfire crisis, both mortgage broker associations, three major brokerages and several lenders have joined the cause.
The Broker Bushfire Appeal, which initially aimed to raise $100,000 for the Red Cross Disaster and Recovery Relief Fund, has been significantly boosted by donations from Aussie, Loan Market and Mortgage Choice, which have each donated $100,000 to the appeal.
Several lenders have also committed to support the cause, with SME lender Finstro recently announcing that it will donate $50,000 to the appeal.
Given the increasing range of players contributing to the fund and its broadened scope, the appeal has now been renamed the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief, and its fundraising target has been increased to $750,000.
More than half of this amount has already been raised.
One of the founding players of the appeal, Jeremy Fisher of 1st Street Financial, commented: “Since launching the relief appeal, I have been humbled by the generosity our industry has shown to support those in need and help rebuild fire-devastated communities.
“I am delighted to hand the baton over to our industry associations to further enhance the appeal’s reach and help more people through our combined efforts. After all, that’s what this is all about.”
Major brokerages donate $100,000 each
The three biggest brokerages in Australia – Aussie, Loan Market and Mortgage Choice – have all supported the fund with $100,000 each.
Speaking on behalf of Aussie, CEO James Symond said: “We’ve been devastated to see the impact of the bushfires around the country and our thoughts are with those affected.
“There has already been an amazing response across Australia and internationally to donate to this cause, and our industry also wanted to make a contribution to the financial support needed by many.”
Meanwhile, Loan Market executive chairman Sam White said the entire Loan Market community is “devastated by the bushfires engulfing our country at the moment”, adding that the loss of life, home, land and wildlife is “almost unfathomable”.
“We realise that many Australians will be affected by these fires, and while the initial loss is heartbreaking, the long-term effects will be a heavy burden.
“We want to help alleviate some of this burden, and that’s why we are donating $100,000 to the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief and will be encouraging our brokers and communities to support where they can,” Mr White said.
Likewise, Mortgage Choice CEO Susan Mitchell said: “The devastation of the bushfire crisis is beyond immense, and our thoughts are with all those impacted.
“This is such a challenging time for many Australians, so it’s extremely important we rally together as an industry to support and help them rebuild their lives and communities.”
Both the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) and the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) have also supported the cause.
“It gives us great pleasure to be able to leverage the outstanding work Jeremy Fisher and others have already done,” MFAA CEO Mike Felton said.
“Our objective is to enhance the appeal to broaden the scope of prospective contributors with the aim of maximising the amount of financial support we are able to provide the Australian Red Cross in support of the communities that have been devastated by this dreadful ongoing bushfire crisis. We encourage the industry to get behind the cause.”
FBAA managing director Peter White added the association believe it was “extremely important” to support the country and – given the “extreme devastation” of people’s lives during this bushfire season (and particularly over the past few weeks) – urged members of the broking community to donate.
“We all need to chip in and do our part to help our fellow countrymen,” he said.
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How to donate
Anyone looking to donate to the Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief can do so via the relevant page on the Red Cross site.
According to the Red Cross, $15 is enough to support a family who has just been evacuated from their home during a bushfire, $20 can help train and support Red Cross volunteers to provide advice and support to those struggling in the aftermath of a disaster, $100 can provide 40 households with emergency REDIplan materials to help them prepare for disaster, while $200 can deliver a preparedness session for 30 people.
A donation of $1,000 can assist the Red Cross in setting up and staff an emergency information service to help those searching for missing friends or family.
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Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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